By Dr Tony Setiobudi BMedSci, MBBS, MRCS, MMed (Ortho), FRCS (Ortho)
Mr Wong is a 65 year old gentleman. He is complaining of knee pain on both sides, right side worse than left. The pain is gradually getting worse. He cant walk more than 50 metres. He has difficulty climbing stairs and squatting
Mr Wong is suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee. Knee pain from osteoarthritis commonly affect elderly. It interferes with the daily activities. Mild cases of knee osteoarthritis can be treated with medication and activity modification. Severe arthritis is best treated with operation (total knee replacement).
Total knee replacement is the best operation ever invented for osteoarthritis of the knee. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage slowly becomes degenerated and thin. Normal joints do not produce pain when moving because the healthy cartilage protects the nerve endings from being rubbed. In osteoarthritis, the nerve endings become exposed. When the knee moves, the nerve endings get rubbed and become painful. Initially, the pain is minimal. Over time, the pain is getting worse and worse. It interferes with walking and stairs climbing. The walking ability becomes limited. Total knee replacement is an operation to take away the pain generators. The damaged cartilage is removed. The bone is covered with metal. The nerve endings are no longer rubbing when walking. Instead, the metal is rubbing against plastic implant. As a result, after total knee replacement the knee becomes significantly less painful.
Total knee replacement is indicated for patients who are disabled from osteoarthritis of the knee. This is one of the most commonly performed elective orthopaedic operation. The patients need to stay in the hospital for a few days after the operation. The patients are expected to walk one or two days after the surgery. Post-operatively, the patients can walk further and more comfortable.
If you need more info about total knee replacement, do not hesitate to contact us or contact your doctor.
Dr Tony Setiobudi is an Orthopaedic & Spine Surgeon at Mount Elizabeth Hospital (Orchard), Singapore. He treats bone, joint, muscle and ligament problems in adults and children. He has a special interest in nerve compression and spine problems such as back & neck pain, scoliosis, kyphosis, spine tumor & infection, spinal cord injury, osteoporosis fracture, spinal stenosis and slipped disc.